German has two verbs that sound exactly the same when you use them in different ways. Today I had to explain that difference to my class.
Let us suppose we want to say “Helmut eats a cake.” That would be “Helmut isst einen Kuchen.” When used in the first-person singular form the verb “to eat” – isst – sounds exactly like the first-person singular verb “is” – ist. That one little “s” can make all the difference in the world. Therefore…
Helmut isst einen Kuchen. – Helmut eats a cake.
Helmut ist ein Kuchen. – Helmut is a cake.
Then I realized that there is little else separating cakes from humans. Both cakes and humans…
- …are carbon based.
- …require eggs, sugar, and oxygen.
- …come in chocolate, vanilla, and a wide variety of flavors.
- …celebrate birthdays and other holidays.
May the Almighty help us if the cakes learn to speak German.
[Edit] : A reader caught my nominative case error. Thanks!